Gordon Beckham hasnt felt terrible or lost at the platethis season. He just feels frustrated.The White Sox second baseman will carry a .231 battingaverage into Fridays series opener against the Los Angeles Angels. But Beckham-- who hit .188 with four RBIs in July -- thinks his average should besignificantly better.Ive felt like Im up there battling, doing the rightthing, putting the ball in play and putting the ball in play hard sometimes,Beckham said. I dont feel like Ive gotten what I deserved, but thatsbaseball. Tough luck.The numbers suggest Beckham has in fact suffered some badluck this season. Beckham is hitting .254 on balls in play this season -- afigure that counts only at-bats that dont result in strikeouts and home runs.His career average has dropped to .280 on balls in play. But Beckham's BABIP has been .297, .290 and .276 in three previousseasons. One area where Beckham has improved significantly -- andpart of the reason for his frustration -- is his strikeout rate. Last season,Beckham struck out once every 4.49 at-bats. This season, hes only striking outonce every 6.40 at-bats.This year more than any year Ive felt like Ive hit theball well and not had (results), Beckham said. Last year was a bad year. Ididnt feel comfortable at the plate. It was almost like whatever hit I got Iwas thankful to get. This year I do feel comfortable and Im doing a lot ofthings right and thats the part where you want to pull your hair out becauseyou expect to have better results.His offensive numbers havent affected his defensive ones. Beckham has combined with shortstop Alexei Ramirez to givethe White Sox one of the best double play combinations in the American League. He could have easily shut down, but he hasnt, hittingcoach Jeff Manto said. Some guys if theyre not hitting, theyre not playingdefense. But he separates the game extremely well. Every day hes working. Imnot going to tell you hes not frustrated, but he doesnt wear it on the field.Beckham insists the way he deals with frustration hasnt improvedwith experience. The fourth-year starter said it might actually make it harderfor him to try and fight through the difficulty. But he also said he hasnt yetgiven up on the season and attaining his goals.It has not become easier, Beckham said. Ive kind ofleaned pretty heavy on my faith this year, that Im continuing to be humbled.For whatever reason it hasnt really gone my way when it could have. You keepon battling. We have two months left and thats a lot of time, 50, 55 gameswhere I know Im capable of putting up every number I thought I was going toput up this year. I believe I can get there.
27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.
The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.
In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.
When I ranked baseball's top farm systems for @MLBNetwork for use during our last two @MLBazFallLeague broadcasts, I had the @Braves at No. 1. With Atlanta losing Kevin Maitan & Co., I would drop them to No. 2 behind the @whitesox.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) November 21, 2017
Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.
Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.
But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.
While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:
4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen